Friday, August 18, 2000

Ask a stupid question

Doctors do swear to 'do no harm'

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Question: Do physicians taking the Hippocratic Oath really swear that they will “first do no harm,” as I'm always hearing on TV? I can find no support for this in reference books.

Answer: Keep looking, says Russell Dean, executive director of the Cincinnati Academy of Medicine, because it is in there.

        “All physicians take the Oath upon graduation from medical school, and contained in it is the line to "first do no harm.' There are variations in the Oath, but the core is always the same, and "do no harm' has been part of that core for decades, if not centuries.”

        The Oath you see on TV is abbreviated, Mr. Dean says, because in its entirety, the Oath is “very long and very archaic. It's not easy reading or listening.”

        The Oath, considered a “a living statement of principles for physicians to live by,” is descended from Greece's golden age. It was Christianized in the 10th or 11th century to eliminate pagan gods, but other than that has remained pretty much the same since Hippocrates was yanking tonsils.

        If you have a stupid question, send it to Ask a Stupid Question, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202; fax: 768-8330.


Big weekend in Tristate means big snarl in traffic
Black Family Reunion celebrates reaching out
Big weekend for business with tourists
Faulty missile trailers bring $1M fine
Judge temporarily blocks abortion law
Home-alone alternatives
Latchkey program offers 'little college' life
- Ask a stupid question
Bunning's gallbladder removed
Arts Association focuses on family
At alarm, get out - now
Churches turn to sex education for teens
Concert review: Jimmy Buffett
County auditor has bad name, thanks to three impersonators
Couple overexposed at park's photo booth
Enquirer seeking new Taste Team
Fire guts townhouse, puts out 12
Fledgling lawyer determined to protect the environment
Garbage dump is searched for Craven murder weapons
How do you top Son of Beast?
Lebanon players perform 'Guys' on high school stage
Lebanon weighing new routes
Light Up Middletown adds displays
Parents' Products Hall of Fame
Submarine life full of routine - mostly
To bargain hunters, this sale is paradise
We want to know about 'Survivor' parties
Weekend Events
Get to it
Kentucky News Briefs
Pig Parade: Porkopolis
Tristate A.M. Report